The battle for Mosul is live-streamed: Al Jazeera English live feed documents the potential fall of ISIS

It's appropriate that the hashtag-happy jihadist extremist group potentially meets its maker on Facebook Live

Published October 17, 2016 7:41PM (EDT)

As Iraqis and Kurds prepare for a battle to reclaim a major ISIS stronghold, the world is watching live.

Iraqi and Kurdish troops on Monday launched the battle of Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, where more than a million civilians are thought to remain.

Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said on Monday afternoon some 5,000 U.S. troops in Iraq would play a "support role" in the reclamation effort.

"We are crystal clear that Americans are in harm’s way in Iraq," he added, "but they are not in a lead role."

In 2014 the jihadist militant group captured Mosul, which thereafter became its de facto capital in Iraq. Around that time, ISIS launched The Dawn of Glad Tidings, a Twitter app that posted propaganda to users' profiles in increments, spaced so as to avoid spam filters. Twitter removed the Android app shortly after.

As far as extremist groups go, ISIS' tech savviness is unmatched. A 2014 CBS News article on the subject reported:

The coordinated campaign has featured what appears to be disciplined, from-the-top-down message control designed to simulate organic grass-roots activity. Complete with an app and highly orchestrated hashtag pushes, the group's social media strategy mirrors that of a marketing company building buzz around a new product.

It's only appropriate then that the Iraqi military's effort to reclaim Mosul from the PR machine turned extremist group be live-streamed for the viewing pleasure of basement dwellers or anyone sitting on his or her bed that weighs 400 pounds.

On its Facebook page, Al Jazeera English (in conjunction with Kurdish news site Rudaw and The Associated Press) featured a four-hour live feed of the battle for Mosul. Watch below:

By Brendan Gauthier

Brendan Gauthier is a freelance writer.

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Al Jazeera English Facebook Live Iraq Isis Mosul Social Media Twitter